Life Sciences


The life sciences sector covers the spectrum of pharmaceutical, veterinary and biotech companies, manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and other products, CROs, service providers and consultancies, as well as charitable organisations that conduct or fund research into developments in the sector. We work with both publicly-listed companies and private companies that have institutional or “business angel” investors. We also advise leading universities and research institutes on biotech transactions. We have advised or providing training to 18 of the current members of the UK BioIndustry Association and Mark Anderson is a former Secretary of the Intellectual Property Committee of the BIA.

As specialists in this field, we have assisted our clients in drafting, negotiating or advising on a wide variety of contracts. Examples include:

  • drafting and negotiating development and licence agreements for UK biotech companies;
  • drafting standard distribution agreements for a European pharmaceutical company;
  • a disputed termination of a major contract to purchase laboratory equipment, where we assisted our biotech client to obtain a full refund of the price paid, plus a proportion of legal costs;
  • negotiations over a management buyout of part of a listed biotech company;
  • advising a Swiss biotech company on a licensing agreement with a well-known UK biotech company;
  • terminating a joint venture between a biotech company and a medical charity, including transfer of assets and appointment of a liquidator; and
  • advising a North American biotech company on its rights under an existing licence agreement with a European licensee.

Several of our lawyers have worked in the life sciences and research science sectors prior to qualifying as lawyers. Our lawyers have also been seconded to work within the legal teams of our life sciences clients.

In collaboration with lawyers in other European countries, we have written Drafting Agreements in the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries, published by Oxford University Press. This is the first book in Europe on biotech transactions which includes 36 template agreements and commentary.


Our focus on this sector includes expertise in the following areas:

Intellectual Property | Application of EU Laws | Competition | Commercial Agreements | Regulatory | Tax | Employment | Commercial Disputes